On Thursday, Brent took advantage of the improved global sentiment and the price of the front-month contract (ICE) settled at 110.72 USD per barrel (USD/bbl).
Products gains were more or less in line with crude’s; ICE gasoil curve still remains in mild contango even though the stocks held at ARA fell further last week and thus are seen at exceptionally low levels (gasoil stocks are the lowest since November 2008).
Base metals prices rose across the board on Thursday. Quite surprisingly, aluminium led gains and strengthened by more than 3 percent and thus hit the highest level since early October. Despite the gains, our medium term view on the price of aluminium remains rather cautious. Record-high production of the metal in China and GCC, recent buying of China’s Strategic Reserve Bureau (driven microeconomically rather than macroeconomically which signals difficulties of local smelters) and lingering LME warehousing issues cap the room for prospective gains, in our view.